This 18-year-old just made $700,000 selling Bored Ape toys, and NFT holders think the physical copies make their digital identities stronger.
Even during a crypto bear market, when sales of non-fungible tokens go down, the price of one Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT stays over six figures. This is true even though Bored Ape holders are partying this week at Ape Fest and NFT.NYC.
Even though digital assets are exciting, 18-year-old Ricky da Luz found a way to get into the field by using real objects. He started sending emails to people who owned Bored Ape NFTs on Twitter, telling them he would make them free toys that looked like their Apes.
Da Luz told Insider at the NFT.NYC conference on Thursday that before he started IsmToys, he saved around $10,000 by mowing lawns and used that money to make the first free toys for members of the Bored Ape group.
In January, he got $400 for the first Bored Ape toy he made. He started IsmToys, which he runs with his father, Tony da Luz, and a team of six people, today.
The younger da Luz added,”We’re tripling down on helping Web2 companies enter the Web3 space, while also converting their audience into Web3 people, We link the toys to actual NFTs and the digital assets act as authenticators for the toys.” “We link the toys to real NFTs, and the digital materials serve as proof that the toys are real.”
So far, he says, his company has made over $700,000 from toys. He says this is due to a mix of commissioned, one-of-a-kind masterpieces that sell for an average of $700 (though some can go for as much as $2,400) and other toys that sell for between $50 and $200.
Da Luz says that 99% of IsmToys transactions are done with ethereum. On Etherscan, an insider looked at transaction receipts.
Since January, IsmToys has been asked to make almost 300 one-of-a-kind toys, but the NFT.NYC conference has made it more likely that this will happen. Just for the next month, they have almost 200 orders.
IsmToys also sells NFTs, which serve as proof of purchase for customers who want to buy the real toy that goes with it. IsmToys made 888 “Golemz,” according to da Luz, and made $300,000 in 96 seconds.
Last month, the company made 400 Bored Ape chess sets with matching non-financial tokens (NFTs). All of them sold out in less than 24 hours.
Apes Who Are Bored is more likely.
Last year, he reached out to 100 Twitter users whose profile pictures were Bored Ape NFTs, but only about five of them replied.
@phibacka31, who owns a Bored Ape, took da Luz’s free toy and showed it to other owners to get the word out.
“Without the Bored Ape community, IsmToys wouldn’t exist,” da Luz said.
On the old internet, if you gave a celebrity a toy, no one would know about it. But with Web3, he says, more people are willing to take risks on anything.
Da Luz says that people in the Bored Ape group have an unusually strong connection to the brand, which is why he reached out to them first. Some people go by their online names and say that they feel more like themselves when they use those names than when they use their real names.
At the NFT.NYC conference, a Bored Ape NFT holder who goes by the online handle @dejen art told Insider, “I kind of define myself as my Bored Ape now.” “Ricky’s toys really bring the digital world into the real world, and it’s great to see his creativity come to life.”
Her husband, @nftgerry, agreed and said he was surprised that people on the internet liked da Luz and his toys.
“Anytime someone’s emotionally attached to something, even just a photo of something, you want to see it and celebrate it all the time,” he told Insider. “I’m emotionally attached to my Ape, so having toys of my Ape is reinforcing my emotional attachment to my digital persona.”
Da Luz says that people can relate to the unique toys because the real world is still what people know best.
“A lot of people think the metaverse is cool, but ultimately we’re still in the physical world, and we have physical things,” he said. “So having something you can touch, a physical representation of your identity is huge.”